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Lihue Airport in line for $18M

LIHUE — About $18 million worth of improvements and upgrades to Lihue Airport is slated to be completed by the end of 2019, according to the Hawaii Department of Transportation.

“HDOT’s mission is to provide a safe, efficient, accessible and sustainable intermodal transportation system to ensure the mobility of people and goods and to enhance the quality of life throughout the state,” said Shelly Kunishige, HDOT spokesperson, in an email.

The refiguration of the holdroom will reduce congestion and improve the passenger experience, according to state officials. Design plans are estimated to cost $1.6 million and construction is estimated at $16.2 million.

The funds — part of the airport system revenue bonds issued by the airports division, federal grants, passenger facility charges customer facility charges and the airport’s division revenue — will go toward capital improvement projects for the airport’s ticket lobby, holdroom and check-in area. Additionally, rehabilitation work of the airfield will cost taxpayers $10 million.

The airfield initiative is touted for all airports statewide, according to the executive report.

The rehabilitation of Taxiway B at Lihue Airport began in June and should be done by year’s end.

Lihue Airport is the fourth-busiest in the state, serving 2.8 million passenger embarkations in fiscal year 2016.

State officials said construction will be in two phases.

Phase I of the ticket lobby and holdroom improvements should be completed by the end of 2018.

“We’ll be filling in the covered garden areas in front of the airport and adding additional queuing space for ticketing check in,” said Kauai Airports District Manager Dennis Neves’ in a previous report. “Also we will be covering those open areas, so there will be either skylights or roofing. It opens up the whole front end and gives us more space.”

HDOT is reconfiguring the check-in area and holding area in the second phase.

“All airlines should benefit from the reconfiguring of the holding area and additional room for the ticket lobby,” Kunishige said. “Construction work will be done in off peak times to accommodate travelers.”

A previous version of this article stated Capitol Improvement Projects was funded the state’s executive biennium $28.8B budget for fiscal year 2017-19.

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